Racial Gap: Evidence from Congressional Staff
44 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2021
Date Written: November 15, 2021
The question of “who participates?” is closely linked with the quality of political representation. However, little attention is given to the participation of racial minorities as congressional staff on Capitol Hill. Here, I show that racial gaps exist in this context. Using a comprehensive dataset of over sixteen thousand congressional staffers from the 107th Congress to the 113th Congress, I find a relatively low presence of minority staffers in both the Senate and House. I also find that minority staffers are more likely to occupy lower rank positions with fewer promotion chances. These findings have important ramifications for understanding racial equality empirically and theoretically.
Keywords: minority staff; racial gap; congressional office; descriptive representation
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